Madge Rosenberg opened Soutine on the Upper West Side over 30 years ago. But in December of last year, she sold the space to the owners of nearby Muffin Café. They renamed the shop Pain d'Epices and added a handful of their own recipes to the few Rosenberg included in the sale of the space.
The lemon poppy seed cake ($3) is impressive before you take a bite. It's dense and weighty, but so light on the palate that sharing is out of the question. Bite into an unglazed side of the cake and the lemon and poppy seed are a bright one-two punch. Take another with the glaze and your sweet tooth will be good and taken care of.
That's the light loaf cake. For a richer option fit for cold March days there's the gingerbread cake ($3). It's a wintry mix of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, with a heavy dose of molasses. Like the lemon poppy seed cake, the weight of each piece will catch you off guard. It's rich and chewy, with such a soft crumb that it almost melts when you pull it apart.
104 West 70th Street, New York, NY 10023 (map) 212-496-1450